Following reports suggesting Z10 returns were outpacing actual sales, BlackBerry has sent a request to the SEC and Ontario Securities Commission to open a formal investigation into where the information came from. BlackBerry alleges the report, which came from Detwiler Fenton analyst Jeff Johnston, is completely “false and misleading,” and wants to know why lies are being spread.
Earlier this week, Johnston released a scathing report that claimed BlackBerry retail partners were seeing “a significant increase in Z10 returns to the point where, in several cases, returns are now exceeding sales.” Johnston’s claims, along with a separate statement from ITG analyst Joe Fersedi, were almost immediately refuted by BlackBerry, saying returns are in line or better than expectations.
According to BlackBerry, Detwiler Fenton has refused to reveal how it came to its conclusion, which is why the company wants to open an investigation. If Johnston’s claims are unsubstantiated and don’t cite sources, then BlackBerry has every right to ask for an investigation. “When false statements of material fact are deliberately purveyed for the purpose of influencing the markets a red line has been crossed,” said BlackBerry CLO Steve Zipperstein.